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Yom Kippur and the Tallit

Estimated Reading Time: 11 minutes
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Written by Rabbi Daniel Vargas according to the teachings of Rabbis Shepherd

We explained that in Rosh Hashanah there is a certain process in the kabbalah we call from Netzira which is the cut the separation between the feminine and masculine aspect that they need to come together, to face each other, and that goes from Rosh Hashanah until Erev Yom Kippur. Erev Yom Kippur we are finishing this process, and then when we come to Yom Kippur we are starting a new stage of a different kind of work. So, the way Hashem gave me this understanding, this year that! that process of Netzira, starting in Rosh Hashanah and finishing in Erev Yom Kippur. Is basically to put ourselves, to be humble in front of Hashem. In very, simple words, we are putting all of our personal desires, and personal urge and ideas, we put it in the back and we are opening ourselves, to start a new stage of our lives, to start the new year. We are putting whatever was in the past and we are making ourselves available to Hashem. To bring us the blessing of this coming year.

So, this is basically the concept of (Aseret Yemei Teshuva, תשובה ימי עשרת( To do Teshuva, or, of, all understanding, of all of the misunderstanding, all of the different things we went through, and to be able to leave it and let go, of that and to continue in a new stage of our life. So, even though what we just said, we also know that Yom Kippur in itself, is the 10th day of, (Aseret Yemei Teshuva, תשובה ימי עשרת .(It is not different, it is not something outside, (Aseret Yemei Teshuva, תשובה ימי עשרת,(it’s part of (Aseret Yemei Teshuva, תשובה ימי עשרת,( Even though we have to finish, Netzira, in Erev Yom Kippur. But still, we have another chance within Yom Kippur, to push ourselves to another level of Teshuva. So, when we are coming into Yom Kippur, the first thing that we do according to Arizal is to cover ourselves with the tallit. Ok.

By the Ashkenazi, someone that is not married does not wear a tallit. But according to the Arizal, anyone that is Bar mitzvah should use tallit. I personally wearing tallit before I got married, even though I’m Ashkenazi, Yom Kippur Cover with Talit “I’m not telling anyone what to do”. But generally, the tallit is very important. But specifically has a special meaning on Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur according to the Arizal; “It is the only night, in the whole year, that we cover ourselves with Talit.” So, what is the meaning of tallit in Yom Kippur? What is the secret?

The Arizal explains, that we, with the tallit, we are covering and finishing all of the worlds we did in Rosh Hashana. Meaning to make ourselves be available, for the spiritual elevation, we are going to have Bezrat Hashem, in Yom Kippur. We want to have that first beginning, meaning in the beginning of Yom Kippur, that the last meanings, before sunset. According to the Arizal; We cover ourselves with tallit before sunset. The point is, there is people doing it according to the Arizal, before sunset or after sunset. The point is that is finishing the (keter,כתר ,of Tevunahתבונה,)I have to explain, that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is relating with the left pillar, the Guevurah, the judgment. So in Rosh Hashanah, we are starting to, that spiritual elevation, from that left column. That we are going up in the levels, is called that (Tevunahתבונה ,,)and Yom Kippur is called, Bina. Bina is the highest level of the left sefirot, of the left side. So the transformation from (Tevunah תבונה ,)to Bina is chesed, is that connection that leads is with the tallit. When we put on the tallit, we are making this connection, of the Bina and emuna, and then we are able to bring Yom Kippur to climb up, to the Bina. So, after we put on the tallit the next thing we have to do is, we have a special prayer, we say once a year, which is that we are permitting the sinners to join us in the prayers. Usually, you don’t want to have your prayers with sinners. But in Yom Kippur, we want to have all of Am Yisrael together. All of Am Yisrael together, we have the, Tzadikim, we have Binionim, and we have the Rashaim. The sin of the rashaim, we also want it in the prayers. And then we have a Tzbur. Tzbur is the combination of tzadekim, benohim and the rashaim. In the beginning of Yom Kippur, we have special prayers. We are permitting ourselves to pray, with the sinners, it means that we want to have a complete Tzibur that means, the acrostic for, tzadikim, benonim, and the raashaim. The righteous people and the average people and the wicked people. When we have all those different parts. Why do we want to have our prayers included with the wicked people? So, we have to understand, that all of Am Israel, is one unity. All of Am Israel is connected. And like within ourselves we have parts, that are straight with Hashem, (Israel, Ya Shar EL), are straight with Hashem, and some other parts, unfortunately, are twisted. Because of all different kinds of sins. We want those parts of ourselves to be lifted, and we don’t want to leave part of our Neshamah down below. Right we want all of our Neshamah to be elevated. And in a different way. We want all of our different parts, of Am Israel, because it is all connected it is all one unit. So, we want all of our different parts to be elevated, if we have certain parts of ourselves that are lowly, because of different sins or different desires. We don’t want to leave them behind. So in the same way we don’t want. We don’t want to leave part of ourselves behind. We don’t want to leave part of Am Israel behind. When we say we are permitting, to pray with sinners, we are saying we are recognizing the unity of Haim Israel. We are recognizing that its one unity, and we want everything, the whole unite, the whole structure, everything, to be uplifted together. So because the elevated of Yom Kippur is so important, so we must have it together in one, body one unit. So, then after we say this, then we have Kol Nidre. Is a very special prayer we do once a year. And we are opening Aaron Kodesh, Sefer Torah, So, this prayer, of Kol Nidre, the simple understanding of that, we are not defying vowels, If we have some vowels upon us, so someone not keeping his vowels, holds back he cannot keep the spiritual elevation. We need to elevate the vowels to permit, ourselves to go through the spiritual elevation of Yom Kippur. This is the understanding of Kol Nidre. Now, we are going to understanding a little bit, a little deeper what is the secret of Kol Nidre. So, the deeper understanding of Kol Nidre, is that it is a very, very, big opportunity, to make tikkum, for sins that are around, sexuality. There is The words of one person, that were from the students of the Arizal. that te Arizal, told him;” I see that you have to do tikkum for homosexuality, probably is was from his previous life”. It was holding him back. He was not unable to get back to the level of his Neshamah. Because he had this sin on his Neshamah, and he needs to do tikkum for that. So the Arizal told him; when will it be the right time for him, to do his tikkum, in Kol Nidre. When they’re opening the Aaron Kodesh, in Kol Nidre. The custom works even today in many places, to sale to give a donation for that tzedaka. Whoever wants to get the tikkum, the Arizal told his students whatever, money, they ask you to give, give, its worth it for you because, this tikkum will give you the opening, for all this spiritual elevation. And sure enough, his students, took the Sefer Torah with the Kol Nidre, the tikkum, and he did the mediation that the Arizal told him, and from there, from this students, we learn, and it’s bought down from sidur HaRashah, that all of their sexual sins, not only of homosexuality, all of the sexual sins. There is an opening in Kol Nidre, to do all of those tikkumim, obviously someone has to be involved, to understand the prayers, and the mediations, that are there. But the potential is there. So, even someone that doesn’t have those special prayers, and he doesn’t know all of the mediations but when someone knows that the potential, is there so, that should be enough of a reason, to put all of our heart to concentrate, in the Kol Nidre, and to say please Hashem help us, to do all of those wonderful tikkumim that we will be able to help, elevate, to you. So, then after, we finish Kol Nidre, we are putting back the sefer Torah, to the Aaron HaKodesh, and we start Arvit. And the Arvit, of Yom Kippur, is the first prayer, that is followed by all of the other prayers. We have basically 5 prayers, in Yom Kippur. Which is; 1. Arbit, 2. Shajarit, 3.Musuf, 4. Minjah, 5.Nejilat, But really the 4 of the day have repetition, so according to the Arizal the repetition is another level of elevation. So we have; 1. Arbit, then we have 2. Shajarit, silent then repetition. 3. Musaf silent then repetition, 4. Minjah, silence, and repetition, 5. Nelijlat silence and repetition. If you look at it this way we have 9 levels, of elevation, within Yom Kippur. So, according to the siddur Ha Rashash, I can read to you, if you want, the words, of the siddur Ha Rashash, it is very, very, complicated to understand the order of the elevation. So without going into details, every pair of words where does it take us to because, you have to be very very knowledgeable, about it, of the structure of the sefirot. The details of the sefirot, inside. So to make it simple, we said before, all of Rosh Hashanah, was Tevunah תבונה .(And then in the tallit we completed, the Tevunahתבונה ,(and all of Yom Kippur is Binah. So those 9 levels, is the 9 levels of Binah. You can meditate, but every time you are starting Amida, In Yom Kippur, you have to meditate, that you are going to another level, within the Binah. In this way when you get to the end of Yom Kippur, and Nejilat, you basically got, to the top level of Binah. So again, ther is technical problems. This year, because of the riots, many people don’t have minim. The synagogue is closed. And they pray by themselves. They don’t have repetition. So instead of 9 levels, they have to split the same structure of Binah, to 5 levels. So within the 5 prayers, they have to meditate. When they are doing shacharit for example, if you don’t have minian, and you praying by yourself, when you are praying the shacharit you meditate on the shacharit and the elevation of the repetition of shacharit. Even you don’t have the miniam, by mediating on your Neshamah, that is connected to all Am Israel, like we said in the beginning, of Yom Kippur. We are connecting all our prayers with Am Israel, also the wicked people and the righteous people everybody together. So even though you don’t have the minian, you don’t have repetition. But you are gaining, the elevation of these, you have it. When you are doing shacharit, you are doing shacharit and the repetition of shacharit. When you are doing musaf, you are meditating on the musaf and the repetition of musaf. Minjah also the repetition. Nejilat also repetition. Every prayer should have repetition. You do the mediation at least you have repetition. Then when we finish the Nejilat, we basically got to the top level of Binah. As we said before, we have the top level of the left column, that we are climbing, from Rosh HaShannah to the end of Yom Kippur. And then in the end of nejilat, we have extra prayers. sechilot, Hashem Elokim, Hashem Melech, Hashem Malah, Shema Israel, we have all of those extra prayers. Sidur Ha Rashash explains that we do extra prayers that we say at the end of Yom Kippur, we are actually elevating even above the Binah, to the Keter. Meaning all of Yom Kippur we are elevating, masculine-feminine aspect. We call ZA and Nukva within those, levels of Bina. And when we get to the top levels so Binah joins together to those aspects, ZA and Nukva. All together they are going up to the keter, and Arih Anpin, which is the highest structure, the highest level, of all of the partzufin. This is the basic understanding of the spiritual level of the elevation, of Yom Kippur. So the Arizal explains that those things we are not allowed to do., We have 5 things that we are not allowed to do, in Yom Kippur that is extra on top of Shabat. Yom Kippur is called Shabat Shabaton. So all the things that are forbidden on Shabbat is also forbidden on Yom Kippur. But on Yom Kippur we have another 5 things. We not allowed to eat, drink, wear leather scandals, to put ointment on ourselves, and married couples are not allowed to martial relations. So I already said many times in my classes, the physical and spiritual are par with each other. Whenever we have something physical, from that physical we can learn something spiritual. And so those 5 things that we are forbidden to us to do on Yom Kippur, this is 5 kinds of abundance. This is in the physical, is parallel, to 5 kinds of spiritual abundance. So, what it means is that in Yom Kippur we are not allowed to have the benefit of these 5 levels, of abundance? Yom Kippur should be extra abundance. Not less. So how could it be, we are saying no that Yom Kippur, we don’t have that kind of abundance. How it can be? The Arizal explains; that kind of abundance is connected to the physical, is the external aspect of the abundance of the spiritual world. Meaning it is a connection between the physical and the spiritual. .But this kind of spirituality that is connected to the physical is the external aspect of spirituality. And in Yom Kippur we want to go into the deeper levels of the spiritual worlds. So, therefore, we don’t want to get connected to those external aspects. So when we are not doing those, when we are avoiding those 5 things we are able to go in, to the inner aspects, of the spiritual world, and to have the benefit to having the abundance, from an inner source that is deeper, than what we have all year long. So the Arizal goes into detail to explain what is the parallel level of the abundance that is connected to each one of those things. But again, the beginning of the understanding is to understand what to do in the physical. And then from the physical which is the external aspect that we have the spiritual, from there we have we are able to go in, to understand the deeper aspect. Ok but right now we are not able to go to all those details, for all and each one of them. But the basic concept that the Arizal said, those 5 levels of abundance, is called voices. He said these voices that come from Binah, he said that all of Yom Kippur is related to Binah. And Binah, it said in the Zohar, is calls it the world of freedom, when we are doing teshuva. TeShuva is related to Binah. We are getting into the level of freedom. So, when we are going deeper, the inner aspect of Binah, there, is those voices, (kolot, קולות .( 5 voices, that are spiritual abundance that we are able to connect. In Yom Kippur. So again all of the year, except on Yom Kippur, when those aspects of ZA and Nukva receive, the abundance of Binah, goes to the external aspect of Binah, down to the ZA and Nukva. Then in Yom Kippur is going into Binah. So we are going to receiving the same abundance of Binah itself. That coming from a high level of abundance which is Arich Anpin. So in other words, we are connecting ourselves, in Yom Kippur to the highest level of abundance which is the, which is basically Binah, is also, the world to come. So we are reaching we have the potential, Baruh Hashem! we are reaching in Yom Kippur to get the nourishment of the same way in the world to come, the same way the Neshama in the world to come, are receiving the abundance from a very very high source. In Yom Kippur we have that privilege to go into those realms to these deeper levels and to get into a higher level of nourishment. In Yom Kippur we have the highest spiritual elevation, to go to the level of Binah, and within Binah, we are receiving the abundance from Arich Anpin, which is ready with Keter, the sefirah of Keter. And we are getting the nourishment from there. This highest level, so this is one time a year, we are able to do that and this is parallel to the Olam Abba. Binah is called Olam Abba. so when we are getting to that level, we are able to see like the neshamot like the world to come. That they are receiving from the highest level. Barjuhashem hopefully, we are righteous people but also, we, us, on Yom Kippur if we are using the potential of Yom Kippur, and we are doing every properly BarchHashem, we are able to receive the highest level of abundance which is Keter, which is Arich Anpin, and this is something that is special once a year.

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